About Us

The Department of Health and Human Services

We support the executive and statutory roles of the Tasmanian Minister for Health and Minister for Human Services, as well as monitoring the performance of the Tasmanian public health system through the services delivered by the Tasmanian Health Service.

Our vision

To deliver services, policies, programs and legislation that improve the health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians.

Our commitment

To work together with clients and the community. To work as one agency, part of one Government and as stewards and partners in the delivery of health and human services.

Our principles

  • Client and Community Focus
  • Effective Governance
  • Strategic Collaboration
  • Intelligent Decision-making
  • Leadership and Culture

Our performance

DHHS will monitor and respond to performance through the Health and Human Services Dashboards and the delivery of major priorities and actions.

Our strategic priorities

  1. Healthy and safe Tasmanians – To deliver key strategic projects to build services that continue to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of Tasmanians.
  2. Well-governed systems – To embed sound business practices to assure Tasmanians that their health and human service systems are effectively managed.
  3. Integrated services – To work effectively with our partners to deliver joined-up service systems that meet the needs of clients and the community.
  4. Evidence-based services – To use data and intelligence sources to make informed decisions that drive effective and innovative service delivery.
  5. Engaged workforce – To build and support the workforce to deliver efficient, safe and high quality health and human services.

Our services

As a system manager, DHHS has an important role as a steward and strategic partner in health and human services delivery. The roles and responsibilities of system management are shared across all operational and departmental groups.

The core components of system management include:

  • monitoring and oversight of the health and human services systems
  • describing and enacting the strategic direction of the health and human services systems
  • continuous improvement in the quality of care and service provision
  • planning and purchasing of services
  • performance management (of service providers)
  • public and internal system reporting
  • regulatory functions, including regulating public and private health service accreditation; licensing and regulating public hospitals, day procedure centres and non-emergency patient transport providers; and regulation of radiation materials and poisons
  • intergovernmental relations
  • contract management
  • industrial relations, and
  • planning and purchasing of capital resources.

DHHS also has a major role in direct service provision. Our four operational Groups (Ambulance Tasmania; Children and Youth Services; Housing, Disability and Community Services; and Public Health Services) deliver a range of essential public services.

Vital corporate support services and core system manager functions are provided by our two departmental Groups: Corporate, Policy and Regulatory Services; and Planning, Purchasing and Performance. More information about each of the Groups is outlined below.

Ambulance Tasmania

Ambulance Tasmania (AT) provides integrated, high quality, pre-hospital emergency and medical care, health transport and medical retrieval services to the Tasmanian community.

This range of services includes 55 ambulance response locations across the State. There are also approximately 600 community defibrillators registered with AT under the life-saving Early Access to Defibrillation program.

Tasmania has a wide dispersal of highly qualified paramedics throughout urban and rural areas across the State. This includes approximately 600 Volunteer Ambulance Officers across Tasmania.

Children and Youth Services

Children and Youth Services (CYS) provides a range of services and support that contribute to ensuring children, young people and their families are safe, nurtured and well.

CYS provides services across three service portfolios: Early Years, Child Health and Parenting Services (CHaPS); Services to Children and Families; and Services for Young People. These services are delivered by a professional workforce who are supported by the Program Support and Quality Improvement and Workforce Development teams.

Client service activities include:

  • CHaPS delivers a universal child health service to all children in Tasmania aged 0‑5 years, operating from clinics and providing home visits throughout the State. This service will transfer to the THS in 2016‑17.
  • The Child Safety Service delivers a statutory response to notifications of child abuse and neglect; provides out of home care for children unable to remain in their parents’ care; and supports families to become safe enough to resume care of their children. Services are service centre based and home visits occur throughout Tasmania as needed.
  • The Family Violence Counselling and Support Service provides counselling and support services to children, young people and adults who have experienced family violence. Services are service centre based.
  • The Adoption, Transfer of Guardianship and Aftercare Service provides a range of services including local and international adoption and aftercare for young people who have left out of home care. Services are service centre based in Hobart, supported by staff located within each area.
  • Community and Custodial Youth Justice responds to children and young people sentenced by the court to secure detention or community supervision as a result of their offending behaviour.
  • CYS funds community service organisations to deliver some specific services through contracting arrangements.

Housing, Disability and Community Services

Housing, Disability and Community Services (HDCS) provides affordable housing, quality disability and family services to vulnerable people, families and their carers.

HDCS has the following key responsibilities:

  • Planning and monitoring performance to ensure the overall affordable and social housing system is operating effectively, and providing direction and evidence for housing and homelessness policy and systems reform.
  • Progressing initiatives against the Tasmanian Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2015-2025 (Affordable Housing Strategy) and Safe Homes, Safe Families: Tasmania’s Family Violence Action Plan 2015-2020 (Safe Homes, Safe Families).
  • Maintaining the Department’s housing supply by delivering new; maintaining existing; and selling ageing stock.
  • Managing the Department’s social housing tenants and residential tenancy management agreements with community housing providers.
  • Delivering programs to support Tasmanians living with disability, including oversight of the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • Providing counselling and support for men, women and children affected by sexual assault through the Sexual Assault Support Service Inc.
  • Providing community programs and services for vulnerable families and people to build individual and community resilience and capacity.

Public Health Services

Public Health Services (PHS) works to improve and protect the health and wellbeing of all Tasmanians by supporting them to make healthy choices and to live in safe environments, working in partnership with individuals, groups and communities.

PHS develops and delivers public health policy, plans and programs; delivers public health information; and administers public health legislation including the Public Health Act 1997 and the Food Act 2003. PHS also manages population health threats and risks, such as communicable disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.

In 2015-16, these services included:

  • regulation of over 800 tobacco retailers, including 200 controlled purchase operations
  • regulation of approximately 800 outdoor smoking areas at licensed venues
  • provision of vaccines and support services to 206 immunisation providers, including 29 councils and 103 high schools, and
  • over 5 300 calls to the Public Health Hotline.

Corporate, Policy and Regulatory Services

Corporate, Policy and Regulatory Services (CPRS) manages the delivery of an efficient and effective statewide health and human services system by leading the provision of strategic corporate, policy and regulatory services to DHHS and portfolio Ministers.

The key roles of CPRS are to:

  • across Group boundaries, coordinate high quality, timely and accurate strategic policy advice to the Secretary, portfolio Ministers and Departmental Executive
  • manage intergovernmental relations
  • lead the implementation of strategic, policy and reform initiatives on behalf of portfolio Ministers and the Secretary
  • provide shared services (including asset management, procurement services and payroll services) across DHHS and the THS
  • manage the delivery of efficient and effective services across DHHS, including budget and finance services; human resource management; information and communication technology services; and strategic policy and regulatory services, and
  • provide Professional Advice, namely the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Chief Allied Health Advisor and Mental Health and Drug Directorate.

Planning, Purchasing and Performance

Planning, Purchasing and Performance (PPP) performs the core system management functions of strategy and planning, purchasing, performance management, monitoring, reporting and analysis on behalf of the Secretary and responsible Ministers.

PPP has a whole-of-system focus, working in a network model to strategically bring these functions together in managing health and human services service delivery organisations, including the THS.

PPP also provides access to statistical information for all departmental purchased services to ensure all stakeholders have access to quality data and support evidence-based decision making.

As a whole, the service delivery, corporate support and system manager functions of all six of the Department’s operational and corporate Groups work in partnership to meet the objectives of the health and human services systems on behalf of the Government and the Tasmanian community.